The 4,000 copies of the Holy Quran in Arabic script landed at the
Mundra port more than a month ago but these are yet to be handed
over to the consignee in Gorevali village of the Muslim dominated
Banni area in the Rann of Kutch within Kutch district.
The consignment along with some 500 CDs have been
sent from Dubai. The copies of the Holy Quran are meant for free
distribution and not for sale.
This is despite the fact the consignments have been
sent legally and the consignee has got valid documents. Even
assistant customs commissioner at Mundra Ashok Nagade admitted to
journalists that the import of the Holy Quran was not illegal. He
said that the customs department would hand over the material to the
consignee as soon as certain investigations were over.
The copies of the Holy Quran are meant for Jamia
Darul Masiha, an Ahl-e-Hadees madrasa at Gorevali run by Abdul
Qayyum Khan. Set up in 1952 by Khan’s grandfather Haji Dalil Khan,
the madrasa has been imparting Islamic education among 40,000
Muslims of Banni region bordering Pakistan.
The consignment has been sent by Khan’s father Haider
Khan working in Dubai.
Speaking to TwoCircles.net, Khan said that after the
consignment landed, he contacted a number of clearing agents but all
of them refused to entertain him. Finally, he himself went to the
customs officials along with the papers of the consignment sent by
“As soon as I reached the customs office, I was
surrounded by police and intelligence sleuths who were waiting for
him in advance’’, Khan told this reporter over phone from his
residence in Gorevali on Sunday evening.
“I was surprised by this behaviour of the customs
officials as also the intelligence sleuths from the central and
state agencies because I had valid documents and the consignment was
sent legally’’, Khan stated.
However, Khan cooperated with the agencies and gave
them all the information about himself and the sender of the
“Investigators told me that they had advance
information that some objectionable materials are being sent to me
and hence, they were waiting for me to personally reach and claim
it’’, narrated Khan.
However, customs officials, who checked each and
every copy of the Holy Quran found nothing objectionable.
“Their objection was to some of the CDs packed within
the cartons of the Holy Quran’’, said Khan. But this was not illegal
because the papers sent from Dubai mention CDs as part of the
Khan said that the copies of the Holy Quran were
meant for distribution among the local people. “The copies of the Quran were gifted in Dubai by several people and my father sent them
for the benefit of the people here’’, he explained.
He said that though the custom officials had finally
become convinced and agreed to release it after conducting
investigations. “But now I will have to pay the demurrage charges
because the customs allow free storage only for 15 days in their
godowns’’, informed Khan.
Khan’s madrasa is affiliated to Jamia Salafia Islamia
University of Banaras in Uttar Pradesh.
In Gujarat, Kutch district has the largest
concentration of Muslims, most of them located in border areas.